AINTREE – APRIL 6
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £13.30 (6 favourites – 3 winners – 2 placed – 1 unplaced)
Thursday's Placepot permutation at Aintree:
Leg 1 (1.45): 6 (Top Notch) & 1 (Cloudy Dream)
Leg 2 (2.20): 2 (Defi Du Seuil) & 3 (Divin Bere)
Leg 3 (2.50): 3 (Cue Card), 2 (Bristol De Mai) & 4 (Empire Of Dirt)
Leg 4 (3.25): 1 (Buveur D’Air) & 6 (The New One)
Leg 5 (4.05): 19 (On The Fringe), 14 (Mendip Express), 20 (Pacha Du Polder) & 21 (Poole Master)
Leg 6 (4.40): 7 (Bun Doran), 11 (Yorkist), 14 (Raven’s Tower) & 10 (Romain De Senam)
Suggested stake: 384 bets to 10p stakes
1.45: Nicky Henderson is the only represented trainer to have won this race twice over thus far, with the Seven Barrows stable represented by TOP NOTCH on this occasion. Nicky’s fine prospect has done next to nothing wrong to date and though these fences will come by at a furious pace today, I expect Top Notch to pass the test with flying colours. That said, Paul Nicholls has dominated the first day of the meeting during the last six years (no gold medallists last year though), Paul having saddled eight winners during the period. Paul has declared FRODON and though the five-year-old looks to have plenty on here, Paul’s runners will be fine-tuned this week with the trainers’ championship in mind. CLOUDY DREAM looks the main danger to the selection however, though I was somewhat taken aback by seeing TOP NOTCH as a projected odds against favourite in the trade press, believing Nicky’s raider to be a 4/5 chance personally as his conqueror at Cheltenham (Yorkhill) would surely have been put in at around 2/5 has he been in the field instead of Nicky’s representative.
Favourite factor: The only successful favourite (via eight renewals) scored in 2013 at odds of 6/5, whilst five market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions thus far. All eight winners have scored at a top price of 11/2 to date.
Aintree record of course winners in the opening contest:
1/1—Max Ward (good)
2.20: Nicky Henderson's disappointing first day results in recent years were highlighted in this race two years ago when Nicky saddled the well beaten (4/6) market leader. Nicky will have been hoping that this year got off to a better start in the first race but either way, stable representative DIVIN BERE deserves his place in the field here, albeit a forecast position is probably the best that connections can hope for with the Triumph winner DEFI DU SEUIL having been declared. Philip Hobbs was an emotional wreck of a man (wonderful to witness) following the victory of his outstanding raider in the opening race on Gold Cup day at Cheltenham and there is every chance that DEFI DU SEUIL will be the fourth horse since the turn of the Millennium to achieve the double in the relevant two races at these spring festivals. The Queen’s colours could be seen in the unsaddling enclosure after the race as FORTH BRIDGE boasts realistic place claims.
Favourite factor: Favourites have won seven of the last twelve contests, with ten market leaders having secured toteplacepot positions. Nine winners during the last twelve years were returned at 13/2 or less.
2.50: I’m sure we can all recall the cheers when CUE CARD proved his doubters wrong in this event twelve months ago having fully recovered from the fall in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. We are in exactly the same position this year of course, though with another twelve months having slipped by, there has to be a chance that this will be a more difficult task. That said, this track seems to suit Colin Tizzard’s raider and his legion of fans probably won’t hear of defeat. I would be seriously worried by BRISTOL DE MAI if I thought he could put in a clear round of fencing, whilst the chance EMPIRE OF DIRT cannot be ignored, especially with the ten-year-old being Gordon Elliott’s only runner on the card. I suspect that this might be the last Championship race for Silviniaco Conti though whatever the result, this admirably consistent chaser deserves a free tilt at yet another top notch event as he does not owe anyone a penny in the sport.
Favourite factor: Just three favourites have prevailed during the last fifteen years though that said, twelve winners were returned at odds of 9/1 or less. Four of the last eight favourites have finished out of the frame.
Aintree record of course winners in the third race:
2/5—Cue Card (2 x good to soft)
3/5—Silviniaco Conti 2 x good & good to soft)
3.25: Providing he stays the trip well enough (his pedigree suggests he will), this should something of a stroll in the park for the Champion Hurdle winner BUVEUR D’AIR who was powering up the hill when scoring at Prestbury Park three weeks ago. His only hurdle defeat came when finishing third in last year’s ‘Supreme’ via six assignments over timber and unless THE NEW ONE can rekindle the flame of yesteryear, BUVEUR D’AIR should run out an impressive winner. THE NEW ONE should have his favoured ground by the time that flag fall arrives, with IDENTITY CHIEF nominated as the other potential forecast option.
Favourite factor: Only five favourites have won during the last 21 years, though 11 of the last 20 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
Aintree record of course winners in the fourth even on the card:
1/2—Buveur D’Air (soft)
1/3—My Tent Or Yours (good to soft)
2/4—The New One (2 x good)
4.05: Luck in running is an obvious pre-requisite in this event but that said, favourites have a half decent record looking back over the last 24 years (see stats below). 12 of the last 14 winners have been aged in double figures, whereby my ‘short list’ consists of dual winner ON THE FRINGE, PACHA DU POLDER and last year’s bronze medallist MENDIP EXPRESS. If you are in need of a big priced winner after four luckless events, POOLE MASTER could give you a decent run for your money at around the 22/1 mark.
Favourite factor: Eleven favourites have won this event during the last 25 years during which time, 22 gold medallists have been returned at odds of 8/1 or less. Indeed, in a race which invariably looks difficult on paper, it's worth noting that five of the last six winners have been returned at a top price of 4/1. That said, only five of the last thirteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
Aintree record of course winners in the fifth race:
2/2—On The Fringe (good to soft & soft)
1/6—Poole Master (good to soft)
1/6—Rebel Rebellion (soft)
4.40: Ten of the last eleven (and 13 of the last 15) winners carried a maximum weight of 11-1, whereby BUN DORAN, YORKIST and RAVEN’S TOWER form my overnight short list. The reserve nomination is awarded to ROMAIN DE SENAM who has been dropped five pounds for a recent disappointing effort. It is hardly surprising that this competitive toteplacepot finale has recently produced twelve different winning trainers in as many years.
Favourite factor: Five market leaders have prevailed via the last fifteen contests, whilst 10 of the 17 market leaders have finished in the frame during the study period. That said, five of the last nine gold medallists were returned at 33/1-25/1-20/1-20/1-16/1.
Aintree record of course winners in the Placepot finale:
1/2—Theinval (good to soft)
3/5—Parsnip Pete (2 x good & good to soft)
1/1—Reven’s Tower (good to soft)
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners on the Aintree card on Thursday (Prices in brackets of their winners at Aintree this season):
6 runners—Paul Nicholls (3 winners: 5/1, 4/1* & 7/4**)
4—Tom George (4 winners: 33/1, 7/1, 7/2 & Evens*)
4—Nigel Twiston-Davies (1 winner: 9/1)
2—Henry De Bromhead
2—Warren Greatrex (1 winner: 4/1)
2—Ben Pauling (1 winner: 9/2)
2—Dan Skelton (1 winner: 5/2)
+ 51 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
89 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Taunton: £59.10 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 2 unplaced
Southwell: £41.70 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 3 placed – 1 unplaced
Chelmsford: £169.20 – 8 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 5 unplaced